- Sarah Beth Dippel
CAN YOU SEE HIS WONDERFUL WORKS?
WEDNESDAY OF THIRTY-FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
As I read today's first reading from the Book of Revelation, I felt the calm and peace of the Lord wash over me. The last few days have felt stressful for me. But after reflecting on the reading, I began to feel the peace of Christ overtake my anxieties.
At Mass yesterday, Father talked about joyful suffering. Not being surprised that bad things happen in our life but instead welcoming them, rejoicing in them, and allowing the Lord to change our hearts through the suffering we endure. Now, my stress was nowhere near actual suffering. They are simply my own little crosses that I bear. Things that would likely sound trivial to you if I tried to explain them, but none the less, they are things that hold me back from the great and wonderful works of the Lord (Rev 15:3). They hold me back from seeing the beauty of another and distract me from seeing the worth of the world around me.
Cris, Jake, and I watched "Love the Coopers" last night. In the film, one of the female characters enjoys watching people because she loves their spontaneous moments of real emotion. If we are looking for a sign that the Lord is Holy and His righteous acts revealed (Rev 15:4), watch the unchecked emotions of joy on another person's face. It's beautiful, it is breathtaking, and it is the sign of the Lord's great and wonderful works (Rev 15:4).
I read an article earlier this week that explained how gratitude physically changes our neural pathways. Focusing on the blessings that bringing us joy rather than focusing on negative thoughts will make us feel good and make us healthier. Simply distracting ourselves from negative thoughts (surfing our Facebook feed) will not help us. We have to retrain our minds to focus on positive feelings, and the best way to do that is to think of all the things we are grateful for. Call a friend or family member not to complain about your life problems; instead, tell them how much you value their presence in your life. Let's use this Thanksgiving to be genuinely grateful for the moments where we can see the great and wonderful works of our Lord.
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